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Stage Accompany M57 Studio Monitor.

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by Webbie, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Webbie

    Webbie Active Member

    Hello,

    as a Stage Accompany and audio enthusiast I would like to know if you people ever heard about the SA M57 Studio Monitor.
    A quick search at this forum gave no hit at all of the SA M57.

    Some say the SA M57 is one of the best natural sounding (ribbon loaded) studio monitors ever build.
    The M57 has also a big(ger) brother, the M59.

    A couple of weeks ago I've tested a set of SA M57 in combination of the SA new digital amplifier, the DS50, and wrote a review about it on my own forum

    m57_ds50_3.JPG


    External links:

    • review of the M57: Review: Stage Accompany, M57 Studio Monitor.
    • technical information SA M57: http://stageaccompany.com/support/downloadnew/m57_techdoc.pdf
    • technical information SA DS50: http://stageaccompany.com/support/downloadnew/ds50_techdoc.pdf
    • technical information SA M59: http://stageaccompany.com/support/downloadnew/m59_techdoc.pdf

    I'm very curious if someone of you guys ever heard a set of SA M57's.


    Greetz Webbie...

     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Note? Just another one of those same ribbon tweeters that seems to be proliferating. And whomever's Woofers and box size/design. So how much money do you want to spend? What's your budget? There's a lot of Super expensive speakers out there only made for suckers? Everybody's got to make a buck.

    Or could this be spam since this is your one and only posting? Methinks the latter.
     
  3. Webbie

    Webbie Active Member

    Hello RemyRAD,

    This is certainly not a SPAM posting.

    As I earlier mentioned I'm an audio enthusiast who loves very much the SA (ribbon) sound.

    I'm just currious if someone of this forum had ever the change to listen to them, and what they think of the sound of these monitors.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

    (Prince, the musician, is one of Stage Accompany customers so your posting: "
    Just another one of those same ribbon tweeters that seems to be proliferating.", "And whomever's Woofers and box size/design." and "There's a lot of Super expensive speakers out there only made for suckers?" are quite strong and bold statements)


    Greetz Webbie...
     
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well, Adam and others are using similar ribbon tweeters and those sound rather good. So I will assume these too probably sound real fine? They might be good but they are another one of those small niche speaker manufacturers like so many others that have come and gone. I would imagine they would make excellent control room monitors? So I'm really not putting them down. They're just another monitor. That uses a ribbon tweeters for those that like ribbon tweeters. And I think like other ribbon tweeters they feature a high-frequency response out to 50 kHz? I might also inquire as to what kind of power amplification they are utilizing? A/B or a class D? And whose electronic crossover scheme? And then of course the bottom line would be what the heck do they cost? Something reasonable for the average project studio owner? Or something like Alan Sides' $36,000 monitor package?

    JBL user for over 40 years, KRK over the past 10, to supplement the JBL's.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  5. Webbie

    Webbie Active Member

    Hello RemyRAD,

    Yes, they sound indeed real fine.
    Stage Accompany is for nearly 3 decades active in the Pro Audio, Studio and Cinema scene.

    As I ealier mentioned in my first and second post I love ribbon sound, but that's my personal tast/opinion.
    One of the main benefits of a (good) ribbon driver is that even at very loud (PA) sound levels the ribbon stays clean from hearable distortion.

    Yes, the SA8535 feature a high-frequency response far above to 50 kHz (if I'm correct over the 100 Khz).
    B
    ruel and Kjaer (which manufactures transducers, instruments and software for sound, acceleration, and vibration measurement and analysis) even use the SA8535 Ribbon Compact Driver for testing their equipment.

    The SA DS50 used at the demo sessions is a class-D design amp with built-in DSP (64-bits 96kHz digital processing), 2 x 2500W @ 4 ohms load. Switched mode power supply.

    The price of these beauties are around 5000 dollar each, excl. VAT.


    Greetz Webbie...
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    And right it should sound good at that cost. These are not your average project studio speakers for folks using a $400 Behringer mixer and a couple of cheap microphones. These of course are the real deal. And with that kind of power, transients will always punch through. So I would imagine they are quite articulate sounding? I certainly wouldn't mind a pair if somebody wanted me to evaluate them. Which likely will not happen in my lifetime? LOL.

    I can dream can't I?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  7. Webbie

    Webbie Active Member

    Hello RemyRAD,

    Not so long ago Stage Accompany discontinued their smaller and more affordable studio monitor the M44 (formely known as PS44, for home use) which was also a very good sounding monitor.
    The main benefit of this enclosure was the use of the smaller Ribbon Compact Driver, the SA8520, with even greater transparency and detail in the high frequenties then the SA8535 used in the M57.

    Technical information M44: stageaccompany.com/support/downloadnew/m44_techdoc.pdf

    The SA8520 is the pro-version of the Philips RSQ8P (Philips used them in loudspeakers for home use).
    The only drawback is the handling power of the SA8520 of 30 Watts (500 Watts peak), but that's no problem for use in the M44.
    For long time PA (ab)use the SA8520 was not suited, that's one of the main reasons why Stage Accompany developed "bigger brothers"; SA8525, SA8526 and finaly the SA8535 (and his successors).

    Like they say; there's is no free lunch!


    SA-Ribbons.jpg
    SA8520, SA8525, SA8526 and SA8535 (first version with neodymium magnets)


    The M57 sounds indeed very detailed, even at very very high sound levels.
    Besides the high quality components SA uses also DDC (first used in the SA Blue Box (in the build-in PMS-5000 amp) and the PPA1200 amp) to take full control over the conus movement (woofers) and the diaphragm movement (Ribbon Compact Drivers).

    DDC: Dynamic Damping Control actively compensates the effect of speaker cables and connectors between the amplifier and loudspeaker via two send/return wires to/from the loudspeaker cabinet. This system is incorporated in all SA amplifiers and works with all DDC pre-wired SA cabinets.

    The sound of the M57's is really addicting, but can be also very frustrating.
    Songs that you loved before to hear thru your home HiFi loudspeaker system (because you liked the sound, song and lyrics) can be very disappointed hearing them thru the M57's (taking the joy away because your favourit songs sounding like crap (reason: simply because they're badly recorded/mastered ;-)).
    At this level of monitoring bad recordings (and/or heavily compressed) sound really really bad, and perfect recordings (with dynamics) sound really awesome and breathtaking.

    It's a pitty a lot of youngsters like the sound of a heavily compressed song which leaves no room for dynamics.
    The only thing they care about is how hard the song will blast out of their mobile devices!

    One of the reasons some people dislike a ribbon driver is that they're missing something in the sound the ribbon produces.
    And that's correct, they're missing the harshness and distortion of the compression driver ;-)

    The other reason why people don't like the ribbon sound is that they think the output of the ribbon driver is far less then that of a compression driver.
    A system with lots of distortion in the mids and highs gives you the idea that that system is producing far more dB's (and in that believ sounding better)!
    A ribbon equiped system stays free of distortion even at very loud levels and gives the listener the idea that the set isn't playing loud (until you grap your dB-meter and start measuring).
    That's why you can listening for hours and hours to a SA ribbon loaded cabinet (without the distortion) without going to feel tired after awhile (what is the main reason of my ribbon-addiction).

    Because of the above mentioned reasons a SA ribbon loaded cabinet sounds "how music should sound", without distortion and with dynamics.


    Stage Accompany is still looking for a reseller (SA Partner) in the US, so maybe you get ever the chance to listen to a set of these beauties :)


    Found a photograph of a set SA M59 (one of the first versions, can only be active driven) in combination with three SA PPA1200's (I'm not the one on the photograph ;-).

    SA_M59 _PPA1200.jpg
    Bit over-kill ;-), and wrong placed M59's (bass ports must be facing outwards).


    Below pictures of the SA Blue Box SA4525 (with the intergrated SA PMS-5000 amplifier, horn-loaded SA8525 Ribbon Compact Driver and SA1503/1513 woofers) which was the lead to my Stage Accompany addiction.
    The Blue Box is a rather famous enclosure devoloped in the '80 and still going strong (and sounding really awesome at my living room) after all those years.
    The black "Blue Box" VN310025 (with Philips logo and name are OEM build by Stage Accompany) is a real collectors item (from which I own a set :).

    Technical information SA Blue Box: stageaccompany.com/products/vintage/SA4525bb.pdf

    The Blue Box was used for 23 years in the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York!
    These enclosures sound(ed) so good that some studios use(d) them as mid and far field monitors.

    A couple of thousend are been build and sold all over the world in the '80 and '90 (priced at arround 5000 US dollar each).
    If you stumble on a set SA Blue Box with the orginal drivers (and in good shape) don't let the chance go by to listen to them, you be suprised (and maybe you get addicted too as I'm)!

    In the Netherlands, Germany and Italy the SA Blue Box is still a very popular enclosure (going second hand price now arround 300 - 400 US dollar each).


    VN310025-SA4525-2.jpg
    Three different versions of the Blue Box.


    BB1.jpg
    Backside of the Blue Box (with the SA PMS-5000 amp) that I own (without flightcase).

    BB4.jpg
    The back of one of my Blue Boxes (build-in flightcase).

    BB20.jpg
    The front of one of my Blue Boxes (build-in flightcase).

    PSWBlueNoteOriginalSystem.jpg
    Blue Boxes at the Blue Note Jazz Club.


    Greetz Webbie...
     
  8. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    Didn't Anchor make some studio monitors similar in looks that those blue ones at one time?
    Just looks familiar?
     
  9. Webbie

    Webbie Active Member

    Hello pan60,

    You problaby mean the Anchor Audio AN-130U1, Anchor produce(d) more of these type of monitors e.g. the AN-1000X and the AN-1000X+.

    an130.jpg


    Greetz Webbie...
     
  10. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    ahh yes that is what I was thinking of.
     
  11. garysjo

    garysjo Active Member

    I have a friend who owns an SR company that has been using SA ribbons in his proprietary speaker designs for several years. They sound incredible. Makes you never want to hear a compression driver again. Also, Bob Alec of Alactronics, great studio designer in the Boston area specs them for his builds. He used them at Peerless Mastering. Great sounding room. Peerless Mastering
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    smells like spam to me too ....

    wish this forum had a spam flag like CL ...
     
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    That doesn't sound exactly like spam? Sounds like he was merely impressed by what he saw or experienced? But I guess it's spam on some type? And now I've just tipped over my ashtray making a big ash of myself.

    I should be ash-amed of myself? Thankfully is only on the floor and not on the faders.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  14. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Well, his other posts haven't really been spam. I think the guy is just relaying info that he finds interesting...
    Have you heard a Stage Accompany system? They are awesome, some of the smoothest, focused, and detailed
    rigs around.
     
  15. Alactronics

    Alactronics Active Member



    The SA Ribbons are true ribbon architecture, decendents from the highly regarded Phillips RS series. They are able to reproduce audio with orders of magnitude less distortion, and at higher SPL's than any other type of transducer. That's why you see everyone like B&K using them as reference transducers. They have had this technology for 30 years that I know of. That same committment is apparent in everything they do. So, that makes it difficult to compare SA products to almost anything else being made today. These guys simply (1) do not compromise and (2) constantly push the envelope to the limits. It's like trying to compare what you and everyone you know drives around in to the very finest automobiles avaliable. And, unless you've driven one of those fine automobiles, you won't have a clue. It sounds like Webbie knows and his posts here are dead-on accurate.

    I have had an on and off relationship with SA for aver 20 years. The off periods being due to their having to close after trying to penetrate the US market. The Americans do not like clean audio folks, sad to say. As a result, they got their a**es kicked and went out of business for a while. The key people scattered and a few formed Alcons Audio which is represented in the US. They have continued the tradition of pushing the technology, big time. Similarly, SA has reformed and is also represented in the US. Both companies continue to slowly infiltrate the market here with superior products. The cost is not for the faint of heart and don't even bother going to this accuracy of monitoring unless your room and audio chain are up to it.

    As Webbie and garysjo have posted here, it takes time to adjust to not hearing all of the colorations that other monitors add to the audio. Unfortunately, a lot of these colorations are not by accident as manufacturers labor to introduce the right amount of colorations here and there so the monitor sells easily into the US market. It's an art as much science. Believe me, I have lots of stories. Why do most people love the sound of tubes, transformers, underdamped speakers, LP's, analog tape? It's what we're all used to, it's our normal, it's what all of that great music has been filtered through for all of our lives. Take those colorations out and it doesn't sound right. But it is a much more accurate representation of the audio.

    During the period of time after SA went down and before Alcons was formed, I was in a panic because one of the main things I do for a living is design high accuracy listening environments and ribbons are an essential part of the formula. Fortunately I found SLS which is a US based company and at the time they were building boxes with the SA ribbons. When the ribbons dried up they had to find a replacement and they ended up designing and manufacturing their own. They developed a ribbon type driver that is on par with the SA's for a lot less cost, weight and by it's design, more efficent and it has no external magnetic field, a big problem if you ever get an SA ribbon within ten feet of a CRT, never mind the credit cards in your wallet. This led to a much more affordable product line for SR, Cinema and Studio starting with the very affordable passive S8-R or the powered version, PS8-R. Then if you need more power they have the 1065 and the 1266. I've used all of them with great success. Because of their affordability I've been using a lot of the SLS products lately but would certainly not hesitate to use SA or Alcons in the right circumstance.

    So, ultimately it get's down to personal choice. My philosophy is that if you're involved with the production of music, do whatever you want to get the sounds you love. Tape, mic choice, position, processing, tubes, transformers, etc . . . but that should all stop at the monitoring. There you want it to be as truthful as possible. And why not make use of the best technology for that? Would you want a 40" plasma that had a red film over it all the time? Also, from a design perspective, I know how to design great rooms with great monitoring, it's a simple formula, you just go for the most accuracy possible, at every level. Then verify with measurement and listening. My engineering training sort of dictates a certain path in this regard.

    That's a simple formula to get a great monitoring environment. Ask me to make it a warmer sounding room or have more or less of whatever and I'm lost. Now we're talking subjectivly right? What exactly do you want? Ask ten people and you'll get ten different answers but pursuing accuracy of reproduction is not subjective. Personal choice. That's where you have to decide where you want to be on this topic. I know a lot of great audio engineers and producers that have done amazing work with the most primitave of monitoring. Listen to some of the recording made in the 50's and 60's. Grossly inaccurate monitoring didn't prevent them from creating masterpieces even by, (maybe in contrast to), today's standards. And a lot of great work continues to be done today on an almost infinite number of inferior speakers choices under infinitely varying room conditions. So, do we advance the art or hold on to the past?

    If you've read this whole post, wow. I'll just add that if anyone is burning with the desire, I have a pair of never used M57's in road cases. Let me know.
     
  16. bukolla

    bukolla Active Member

    I have a pair of never used M57's in road cases. Let me know.

    If you still have the pair of M57's could you imagine to sell it to Germany ? And what would be the price for that pair ? Which colour ? Thank you in advance !
     
  17. bukolla

    bukolla Active Member

    Hi Alactronics, if you still have the pair of M57's could you imagine to sell it to Germany ? And what would be the price for that pair ? Which colour ? Thank you in advance !
     
  18. Alactronics

    Alactronics Active Member

    Hello bukolla -

    I was hoping to sell them locally. Shipping back to Germany won't be cheap. They weigh just over 200 lbs. each in their shipping containers. The cabinets and ribbon faces are black.

    If you're serious I can look into shipping options from here. Please contact me privately either through this website or the contact page at Alactronics.com. Thanks.
     
  19. Webbie

    Webbie Active Member

    Hello Alactronics,

    Very nice and accurate post, except;

    The opposite is true, the Philips RS series are decendents of the SA8520 Ribbon Compact Driver.
    Stage Accompany is often falsely accused of copying the Philips RSQ8P.
    In fact the SA8520 was earlier on the market as the RSQ8P.


    Below pictures of an early prototype of the SA8520:

    1377067_246038998880579_1224691068_n.jpg 1375929_246038985547247_1294264321_n.jpg 1385984_246039015547244_812763392_n.jpg

    More pictures, of more then three decades of SA equipment, can be found on the official Stage Accompany Facebook page:
    (Dead Link Removed)


    To enforce the above written, Stage Accompany equipment was used for the development of the Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD).
    No other brand of studio or pa equipment had the (sound)quality the SACD team needed, except Stage Accompany.
    I think this says a lot of the quality of SA equipment!


    528188_240807692737043_195855676_n.jpg 1236512_240807702737042_2060587111_n.jpg 521704_240807666070379_1194615906_n.jpg 1235323_240807659403713_2001901740_n.jpg 14138_240807662737046_520866240_n.jpg 1017424_240807689403710_1565754876_n.jpg


    Nowadays Stage Accompany still is producing the Ribbon Compact Driver (SA8535) for there PA, studio and cinema enclosers at even higher standards then they did before.
    The SA8535 is also available as an OEM for companies who like to use a ribbon driver that is capable of high power distortion free sound.
    At this moment there are a couple of dozens SA8535 shipped to the USA for a company which will use the driver in there newly designed and build PA enclosures.

    Alcons do not sell their ribbons separately.

    The M57 is (still) one of the best selling loudspeaker enclosures of Stage Accompany.
    In combination with the new SA HE50 amp (fan-less design, 2 x 2500w, DSP, mono-blocks, using No-Compromise audiophile components such as Low-ESR capacitors and Ultra Low THD / Ultra Low Noise buffers) is an unbeatable combo.

    More info about the SA HE50 can be found here:
    http://www.stageaccompany.com/support/downloadnew/he50_techdoc.pdf


    Greetz Webbie...
     

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